Background: Uncertainty remains in the prognostic utility of biopsies of deceased donor kidneys in predicting graft outcomes.
Methods: We examined implantation biopsies for 730 kidney transplant recipients from 491 deceased donors from 1990 to 2004. The median follow-up time was 5.1 years. Of the 730 transplants, 633 (86.7%) had implantation biopsies (wedge 89.1%). Of these 633, 541 (85.5%) could be assessed for % glomerulosclerosis (GS), interstitial fibrosis, tubular atrophy, arteriolar hyalinosis, and fibrous intimal thickening. Independent risk factors for delayed graft function include regraft, longer cold ischemia time, and DR mismatch, but not donor age. Independent risk factors for worse function at 6 months include regraft, older donor and recipient, female donor and recipient, and rejection. Independent risk factors of graft failure include regraft, older donor age, male recipient, and rejection.
Results: Of the histologic scores, arteriolar hyalinosis was independently associated with delayed graft function and graft loss, whereas fibrous intimal thickening was associated with decreased 6-month renal function. Importantly, the degree of GS was not independently associated with outcomes.
Conclusions: Therefore, although biopsy evidences of vascular pathologic condition, kidney may contribute meaningfully to the assessment of donor quality but the degree of GS does not.